Chris Gastner, CEDA, and Mike Bubany, David Drown and Associates, reviewed the agreement made in 2008 at the county board’s August 14 meeting. Fillmore County granted a property tax abatement to help finance road infrastructure improvements and a booster station to serve a subdivision (Hilltop Estates) and the new elementary school in Chatfield. Chatfield installed $2.8 million worth of infrastructure.
“The county agreed to add to its levy in each year during the term of the Abatement the total estimated amount of current year Abatement granted under this resolution.” The resolution was adopted by the county board in April 2008.
Bubany said the starting point for the abatement was after 10 homes were built. Gastner said it was expected the development would occur at a faster rate, but was slowed by the recession and the housing crisis. This will be year one for an abatement which will run over 15 years or a maximum of $1.1 million total, whichever comes first. Bubany noted abatements were not likely to reach the maximum. The Abatements will help pay for the cost of Hillside Drive and booster station, which were needed for the development.
The agreement was to pay the city 75% of the property taxes on the value of the homes, not including the value of the land. The tenth house was built in 2016. As the property taxes paid in 2018 are based on 2016 property, the first payment in the amount of $10,140 is due to the city of Chatfield in 2018. The eighteenth house is now under construction in the Hilltop Estates development. It is estimated that the “increased value of the other properties in the tax abatement district, combine to have added approximately $5,800,000 in market value to Fillmore County since entering into the agreement in 2008.”
Notice to the county to include tax abatement levy with its taxes payable in 2019 was given in the amount of $10,841. This represents 75% of increased tax collections from properties in tax abatement district compared to base tax collected in 2008.
Approval was given to pay Chatfield the first payment of $10,140.
Other business in brief
• The Planning Commission meeting that was scheduled for August 23 has been rescheduled and will be held on September 6. Newburg Township is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. at the Mabel Community Center concerning the proposed Catalpa, LLC hog farrowing facility on August 23.
• Several 2019 departmental budgets were reviewed including those under the county recorder, zoning, feedlot, and attorney. Most often changes to the budgets for 2019 are minimal, with the exception of a 2.5% increase in salaries and an expected 15% increase in health insurance. County coordinator Bobbie Vickerman warned that the 15% increase may be low; it could be higher.
• Approval was given for the final payment of $1,553.99 to Sorum and Sons for the 2018 Rock Contract on CSAH 23, Holt Township. County Engineer Ron Gregg received authorization to seek quotes for beams for a bridge on CSAH 1 south of Ostrander and to purchase per low bid. He explained there is a time element to get the beams and have them installed and have the bridge deck poured before it would need to be heated. There will be an addendum to the contract saying the county will supply the beams and the contractor will install them.
• Kristina Kohn, human resources, requested approval of job classifications and compensation studies to be done by David Drown and Associates. Fourteen counties were approved to be used as comparison counties. Fifteen positions were approved to be used for comparison on the compensation study. Kohn noted some department heads have made appeals on certain positions, asking for reclassification and/or job description changes.
There was some discussion on the job description for an administrator position and also for a coordinator position. It has been discussed how this position should be classified over the last few years. Currently, it is a county coordinator position. Both administrator and coordinator are included in the comparisons for the study. Commissioner Randy Dahl commented that things have changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The coordinator position has morphed into administrator. Kohn added all positions and job descriptions are reviewed at least once every four years.
• A resolution was approved for the sale of forfeited properties. Parcels of land that have been forfeited to the state of Minnesota for non-payment of taxes will be sold at auction on September 11 at 1 pm at the Fillmore County courthouse. Parcels will not be sold for less than the basic/minimum sales price.
• An access permit was granted to Sam Siskow to CR 1, Section 5, Beaver Township.